The star is set to show off her fighting skills in the upcoming film Mechanic: Resurrection, thanks to months of training in Krav Maga, the Israeli military’s official system of hand-to-hand combat.
“It gets you in good shape and you’re also learning a skill,” explains her trainer Michael Margolin, co-founder of Krav Maga Worldwide. It’s an effective workout, he says, “because of the kicking and punching with the resistance of another individual.”
Alba, 33, works out with Margolin two to four times a week for hour-long sessions that focus on high-intensity interval training.
“We start with a warm-up, and then we do intervals,” says Margolin. “We do a lot of mitt work where she’s kicking and punching various targets as strong as she can for a period of time, and then she rests for a period of time. We also mix in medicine balls, kettle bells and some light weights.”
Margolin varies the mom-of-two’s sessions by incorporating other fitness moves, too, like rowing, squats and push-ups.
“I think it’s always good to mix things up,” he says, noting that Alba practices yoga and takes spin classes as well. Judging by her enviable physique, it’s certainly paying off.
But torching calories is just half of the equation. “[Alba] works hard, and that’s on both the diet and the exercise part,” he says. “You need to combine the two.”
His final word of advice? “As far as exercise goes, find something that you enjoy because you’re more likely to stick to it!”
Watch Margolin’s tutorial below to learn how to master a Krav Maga move.
—Gabrielle Olya, @GabyOlya